English Premiership

Wenger hails 'team player' Welbeck

2017-09-11 12:56
Danny Welbeck (Getty)

Cape Town - Arsene Wenger has praised Danny Welbeck following the striker’s brace against Bournemouth, adding that the crowd’s booing of Alexis Sanchez is to be expected.

Welbeck, who had been criticised by pundits and Gunners fans following two lacklustre showings against Stoke and Liverpool, showed his class against the Cherries on Saturday, converting two chances and providing an assist to help his side reclaim some self-respect following last weekend’s Anfield routing.

Speaking to reporters after the match, the Gunners boss said that the 26-year old may be on the cusp of reclaiming the confidence he may have lost after two seasons plagued by injury.

"People are not convinced that he's a great finisher, but these types of goals will help him to get more relaxed in front of goal," the long-serving Arsenal boss said.

"I liked his second goal today, it was really the clean finishing of a goal scorer.

"He gets stronger and stronger. Let's not forget that he was out for a long time," Wenger continued.

"He's a team player, Danny Welbeck, that's why the coaches love him. He's a guy who has a physical potential that's huge as well."

Welbeck was denied the opportunity for a hat-trick as Wenger opted to hand Alexis Sanchez his season debut following a protracted and unpleasant standoff between player and club over his future at the club.

The Chilean striker’s introduction was greeted by a scattering of boos around the ground, something Wenger believes is unavoidable at this point.

"We have to accept responses from people. I don't know why. But the best way to get people on your side is to perform," he said.

"I had a chat with him after the game, he didn't look unhappy. Maybe [he was unhappy] because he wanted to score. The interpretation of the attitude is always very dangerous," Wenger added.

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Saturday, 23 September 2017
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, London Stadium 13:30
Stoke City v Chelsea, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Etihad Stadium 16:00
Everton v AFC Bournemouth, Goodison Park 16:00
Swansea City v Watford, Liberty Stadium 16:00
Southampton v Manchester United, St. Mary's Stadium 16:00
Burnley v Huddersfield Town, Turf Moor 16:00
Leicester City v Liverpool, King Power Stadium 18:30
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Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United, The American Express Community Stadium 17:00
Monday, 25 September 2017
Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion, Emirates Stadium 21:00
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